Over the last decade, Apple has packaged music services in different ways. From listening to their explaining in the marketing to watching the Keynote presentations, I’ve never really understood them. iTunes Match, Music in the Cloud, even Apple Music: these are all complicated services.
I continue to find the user experience of Apple Music to be cumbersome. I mostly listen by using Siri commands, but even then, she’s not very good. If I forget a modifier in an album title (such as “the” or “and”), she usually doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Good luck if the album has the title of one of the songs on it.
That being said, Apple Music is great. Just about any song, artist, or genre is ready for me to listen to, at a moment’s request. I’ve listened to Weezer, OAR, Sigrid, Andrew McMahon, Kanye, Ólafur Arnalds, Linkin Park, Jack White, Relient K, George Winston, Matt Maher. I would never risk $12 or $15 to buy an album from an artist or band I’ve never heard of or only kind of like. Apple Music lowers the bar and opens up a world of discovery.
iTunes destroyed albums by offering one-off songs. Apple Music restores the art that is the music album. Singles are easy, albums are hard. They’re unique and cohesive stories, with a theme, all set to completely new melodies and different accompaniments. Pieced together, curated, and set in a certian order. Listening to an album from start to finish is a wonderful experience.
I still find it hard to describe to non-Apple Music subscribers what the value proposition is. In the end, it’s really a service that you have to experience to understand. And when you get it, it’s a whole new world of musical discovery.